Month: January 2014

Website problems, 2014 edition

You may have noticed my domain name is currently a redirect to a blog on wordpress.com.

About a week ago my hosting account got terminated because apparently, my website sent out phishing emails which doesn’t *exactly* seem like something I’d put into my hosting, so my presumption would be it got hacked. I’m hoping to get back into the account in order to download all my posts (heh, backups are for smart people losers) and then move either to wordpress.com or somewhere that’s actually reliable – to be honest, I’m tired of moving web hosts, and I really only use my hosting for blogging, so I may be at wordpress.com for some time.

Missing Babbage

I tweet a lot. Around the 12k mark in fact and that’s in just a couple of years.

I love twitter because I know quite a lot of people on it and it’s a great way to keep up to date with the Pi community, since everyone who’s a major part of it has a twitter account. One tweet can start a bunch of people talking, creating ideas and building on what each other’s said, spark debate, help fund a tech project, answer a question someone else was struggling with.

Anyway, I really realised how many friends I have on twitter that will gladly share something that sounds ridiculous for a 20 year old woman: the fact I lost my teddybear, Babbage. For those that don’t know, Babbage bears are the little guys with raspberry pi t-shirts, and I sewed about £35 worth of wearables into mine…and then he fell out of my bag.

Look at his little face

Look at his little face

He was also particularly special to me as he was a freebie since he was a reject Pimoroni couldn’t sell.

Anyway, having tweeted, a few people started a hashtag #findBabbage and sent round a bunch of photos and heartfelt statements about him. He’s not turned up yet, I need to phone lost property again to see if they have him, but sometimes I forget how far a little thing can spread, and it makes me smile so many people passed it on.

If he never comes back, then I hope whoever finds him researches the stuff I put in his shirt and tries to make them work. It’d be nice to have spread some more electronics love.

Additionally, pimoroni sent me Charlie, to come rescue him:

said headlamp is now my moodlight in my room…

Wearable technology workshop for guides

Yesterday, as you may have noticed from my Twitter/Facebook feeds, I launched a crowd funding page for a workshop I’m excited to be doing in march. I started getting the details of this pretty much as soon as I became a STEM ambassador and saw a guide group wanting ladies to come in, and I’m pretty excited about it.

After getting that Guides only have a small budget for each week, I felt quite shot down until as per usual, I tweeted about it, and Paul Halett (@phalt_) suggested I use hubbub/sponsorcraft to run it, as the website is aimed at educational institutions. Paul gave me a lot of advice, looked over my application (as he works there) and got it published and approved knowing I only had a month to raise the total. I also got some advice from Hayden who emailed me with tips on how to improve it after I’d submitted it.

After 1 tweet, 1 post on a geek girls group on Facebook, 1 post on my main Facebook feed and a couple of emails to the department back in Hull, that one tweet got retweeted a heck of a lot of times, the facebook post got shared, Rob Miles blogged it and a lot of people were extremely generous and supportive and it’s now at around £200 which was about the minimum I wanted to get. Really goes to show how far a tweet can spread and how many people want to help.

As well as money, Caroline Higgins from the University of Bristol (who are running DigiMakers events in coming weekends which I tweeted about some weeks back as they’re using the Raspberry Pi) contacted me regarding sharing resources since they’re planning similar workshops and wanted to have a chat, and a few people wanted to come up to Bristol and help run the workshop as well as sponsor.

Anyway, since emailing the department, they got back to me to say they’re happy to sponsor the full amount and coordinate doing the workshop again a few times back in Hull. I’m genuinely stunned at how supportive and generous that is and I have no idea what to say right now…

My intention now is to use the money from the page (assuming I reach the baseline target…currently £20 away from doing so) to plan add ons for future sessions and to fund extra consumables I may need. By add ons I mean the things I had to stop myself from listing under my budget, like sensors and demos of other projects using the FLORA or the LilyPad. I don’t want things to get over complicated on the first run, so I will stick with my original plan but make possible return visits or repeat uses in STEM clubs more functional and generally more awesome (as if flashing LEDs isn’t awesome enough…)

People of the internet and of university, you are awesome. I love you all and this rekindles my faith in humanity.